Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Reflections on a milestone birthday year

Isn't it funny how life gets in the way. Before you know it, all your dreams and plans go on the backburner because you need to attend to more pressing issues....such as surviving life with four active kids. You go into survival mode and cover the basic necessities - food, shelter, school, work, footy, dance, and if you're lucky, sleep and rest. And the occasional mowing and whipper snipping of the yard to reassure neighbours that the zombie apocalypse has not yet commenced, you are indeed alive and the house is still habitable.

But in the process, if you haven't been careful, you start to realise that you no longer do anything just for you. Something that relates to you and only you. All those things that you like to do - yoga, gardening, writing, reading, being creative - get squished out as other activities like housework and footy and dance and karate take precedence. Unfortunately there are only so many hours in the day in which to cram everything in. Don't get me wrong, I love that my kids are so active, but where is the time for me? When do I get to do what I want to do?

This year is a significant birthday milestone for me. At my last significant birthday I had a mini freak out as I felt that I had not achieved everything I set out to achieve by that time. I considered myself a failure - what had my life become? I compared myself to where everybody else was at that time (big mistake I know, but they were all gallivanting around Europe and I was at home with two toddlers so of course it seemed more glamorous!). I was unsure of myself, I was unhealthy and I was unhappy. I was a smart intelligent woman but I felt trapped by circumstance and I became resentful of everything and everyone. I vowed to myself that I was not going to feel the same way at my next milestone birthday. So in the past 10 years, I have consciously made the effort to travel more, I have attained my Masters degree, I have got myself back in the workforce, I commenced this blog, I have started and stopped yoga more times than I can remember, I completed a solo overseas trip and walked up a volcano, and in the past couple of years tried very hard at improving my stress levels, overall health, fitness and strength. I have been trying to find me again.

Approaching this next milestone birthday I feel I have begun to become more comfortable with me. I have come to recognise that I am a chronic negative self-talker and I need to stop. I have come to terms with the fact that I am a natural introvert and putting myself out there to be more extroverted is exhausting for me, and if I don't recover and recharge with alone time, I become sick, stressed out and not a very nice person to be around. I am also starting to find my voice and say 'no'.  I am gradually starting to 'let go' of some things and get the others who live in this house to assist with jobs - they don't do it the way I do it, but I have to let that go if I want it done. In the past week I have begun meditating - more out of curiosity's sake than anything else - but already I feel as though creative thoughts are being to creep back in. Like a hidden treasure chest with a creaky lid, I am beginning to dust off the cobwebs and am starting to find me again.

It is my plan this year to start working towards some new goals that I have been considering for a while, but because of circumstances, and little Miss Negative Self-talk, I keep putting off. Life is too short and I would much rather say 'Remember when I....' rather than 'I wonder what would have happened if I had done...'. To begin, this year hubby and I will be ticking off Number 1 on my bucket list...trekking the Incan Trail to Macchu Picchu in Peru! I'm so excited I can't wait!

Its currently raining, complete with a thunder and lightening show, and the smell is amazing (I'm going to ignore the fact that I spent three hours this afternoon moving the sprinkler every 15mins to give the veggie garden a good watering! - but I digress - maintain positive thoughts - focus!).  Although it's intense, after a while it passes, everything cools down, and the calm returns. Much like my life, I know that I will have time for me again, I've just got to keep a hold onto 'me' until it passes.

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